I started my quilt coat. And I’ve made some odd decisions that I must explain. Unfortunately the instructor for the class is ill, so I decided to forge ahead on my own. I may be doing several stupid things😊
First, a story. I was Program Chair for my local quilt guild, the Folsom Quilt and Fiber Guild. Twice. On my first go round, maybe 2006-ish?, I hired Rachel DK Clark to come for a lecture and class. Rachel is a phenom; she is a prolific maker of exquisite garments (mainly coats), also makes fabulous quilts and is just a hoot. Models were needed for her fashion show and I volunteered.
I will not forget this moment: I am slated to model a white-on-white shorter jacket. Oh. My! It was lined in a flaming turquoise slippery fabric. I LOVED the white-on-white, the unexpected turquoise lining and….the way it FELT to slide into that jacket. It was divine. I never forgot that.
Fast forward to my current coat-to-be. I was surprised the supply list said I needed a quilt that was 3 x the width of my coat and the coat itself should start out over-sized; that meant I needed a quilt that was 60″+ wide and long. I thought, oh, I surely have something.
Surely there would be something in this pile of no-longer-loved quilts (some are loved but just never found a place in my decor). Not. All were too small. Then I thought I could mix and match, but none were even big enough for that.
Welllll, I’ve got some orphan squares laying around; perhaps I could make something out of them:
These too were maybe 2006-ish? The gold is gorgeous Radiance (silk/cotton blend) and it is luscious. But I really didn’t have enough squares for this. Keep searching….
Oh yeah, I have 14 of these vintage squares bought at some guild’s show, maybe 2003-ish? But their shape and size did not lend themselves to a jacket.
And, I had these blocks from a Freddy Moran class maybe 2008-ish? But again, not enough for the jacket and I am no longer wild about these fabrics.
By the way, the above 3 collections are NOT UFO’s! They are AI’s, Awaiting Inspiration. UFO’s have a clear path to completion and just need to get done! AI’s are lovely bits that need inspiration for completion. And that’s the story I’m sticking to!!!
This is where I landed. I used all my squares acquired maybe 2001-ish from the Gold Bug guild’s show. They are not well constructed by today’s standards: many of the pieces are themselves pieced with tiny pieces, they are certainly not accurate, the pressing plan – well there wasn’t one, they are pressed willy nilly, and, some of the joinings are maybe 8 layers? They produce quite a bump.
Despite all those “issues”, I LOVE these squares! I like the colors, the shirting fabrics, the occasional light stain or hole in the fabric; all that adds character.
The square sizes varied considerably so I went with an odd in between measurement and sashed them at 11 3/4″, which worked out surprisingly well. I’m pleased!
I started to back this with fat back cotton and then remembered Rachel’s coat with its slippery lining…. I decided to line it with silk!
That may seem like an extravagant choice, which it is of course. But, lookie here:
I’m 68. That is my silk stash, 36″ wide by 16″ high. And that’s not all of it. I need to start using it! So I am. Silk will make this coat feel divine to wear.
I ended up doing a lot of piecing to make the back big enough and I exhausted 4 different silks in the process. Those silks are lovely! Wanna know where I got them?
JoAnn’s!!! Waaaay back, early century. the J word used to carry nice silks, truly nice silks. They decided to stop carrying it, so they put it on sale. And I followed that ride alllll the way down, buying silk yardage at 30%, then 50%, then even 70% off! I got a nice haul from that.
There is one problem with that: it makes my coat “precious” and this is my first quilt coat. I always advise my students to not make a project that uses a new-to-you technique too precious or you won’t take risks and learn. So there’s that.
Also, I used wool batting. Yes, wool. I did not use the whole layer of wool, that would make my frame appear 10 lbs heavier, and who wants that? I teased it apart and used “half batt” of the wool. This coat is going to have a lovely feel and drape and that excites me! I am not a fan of the armour that some quilters make with heavy, bulky wearables. This should be light-as-a-feather and supremely drapeable.
Now, to figure out a pattern. I have several, just need to choose one and make a toile to perfect the fit.
I will free motion quilt the above “quilt” for the garment before I cut the pieces. I pondered the best choice on fills and I chose one I NEVER use – a simple meander. The blocks are wonky so no straight line pattern will work. The fabrics are old and any contemporary fill would look odd. So meander it is.
I hope to work on my coat this week. IF nothing goes wrong I would have it done by next week! What do you think the chances are of that? This should be fun!!
I’ll share at: